International Pagan, Heathen and polytheist communities: an overview

TWH — Both the United Kingdom and United States are well known to have thriving Pagan, Heathen, and polytheists communities in one form or another. A few of the most commonly found Pagan religious practices, such as Druidry and Wicca, can locate their origins in one or both of those two cultures. Furthermore, for those people living within those two countries, it is often fellow community members and co-religionists who are most commonly given voice in the mainstream press, at local events, and even within the Pagan media sphere. This reality can make it difficult to see beyond one’s own national borders into other cultures where Pagans, Heathens, and polytheists may thrive. Over the years, The Wild Hunt has gone in search of such practices beyond the U.K. and the U.S., asking how ritual, belief, and community differ within those other societies.

UK Pagans respond to questions on the origins of Easter and Ostara

[Please welcome Liz Williams our new UK correspondent and journalist.]

UNITED KINGDOM — You can always tell that it’s spring when the UK online Pagan community starts linking to articles by writer Adrian Bott, also known as Cavalorn. Bott came into prominence a few years ago with his blog posts regarding the origins of Ostara. Rather than taking on board the received wisdom about this festival, he began a rigorous examination of the actual origins of the holiday’s name. Bott began by linking Ostara back to an obscure reference in the writings of the Venerable Bede called The Reckoning of Time, which was then picked up by the Brothers Grimm. His posts were often contentious, challenging the accepted idea that Ostara was an ancient Germanic goddess of the dawn or of springtime, or that she had anything to do with hares, eggs, or indeed chocolate.

Pagan Voices: Ivo Dominguez Jr, T. Thorn Coyle, Liz Williams, and More!

Pagan Voices is a spotlight on recent quotations from figures within the Pagan community. These voices may appear in the burgeoning Pagan media, or from a mainstream outlet, but all showcase our wisdom, thought processes, and evolution in the public eye. Is there a Pagan voice you’d like to see highlighted? Drop me a line with a link to the story, post, or audio. “Regardless of whether I see something as unhealthy or evil, my response tends to remain the same. In fact I usually find it a waste of energy or a distraction from the task at hand to make that determination.

Pagan Voices: T. Thorn Coyle, Liz Williams, Gus DiZerega, and More!

Pagan Voices is a spotlight on recent quotations from figures within the Pagan community. These voices may appear in the burgeoning Pagan media, or from a mainstream outlet, but all showcase our wisdom, thought processes, and evolution in the public eye. Is there a Pagan voice you’d like to see highlighted? Drop me a line with a link to the story, post, or audio. “Love is – or can be – in everything we do. Love is with us in the midst of the onslaught of misogyny and hatred.